PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets still envision Bobby Parnell in their bullpen by Opening Day. But after a long rehab from neck surgery that prematurely ended his 2013 season, Parnell may see limits on his usage when the new season begins.
Pitching coach Dan Warthen told Newsday he and manager Terry Collins have discussed curbing Parnell’s workload, at least temporarily, holding him to nothing beyond back-to-back appearances. On days Parnell is unavailable, the Mets appear ready to hand save chances to Jose Valverde, who the team placed on the 40-man roster.
“You certainly hope that Valverde is the guy,” said Warthen, who called the former Tigers closer the most logical choice.
Parnell’s velocity has touched 94 mph this spring, not far off from his pre-neck surgery average of 95 mph. But Parnell has also endured hiccups, as he did on Tuesday, when his velocity lingered in the low 90s.
“The only concern is, and Terry and I have talked about it, maybe not three or four in a row like he’s been able to,” Warthen said. “But I think two in a row is going to be fine. He might need a little more rest for a while. Let’s see how it builds up.”